I started my career as a freelance reporter for the Palo Alto (Calif.) Daily News in the late 1990s. A lot was different then, but a lot is the same. Similar to now, stocks were like a yo-yo, market bubbles expanded and contracted, but inflation was tame and not like the rates we see today. Growth, expansion and full employment are always part of the investment mantra, but now inflation is eating away returns. Where will investors get growth in this new environment?
In the late 1990s, I was assigned to report on a talk given by Paul Hawkin in Mountain View, Calif. I knew of Hawkin as the guy who started the home and garden store with his name, Smith & Hawkin, but his talk that night was about the circular economy — the idea to reduce, reuse, recycle, repair and refurbish, and recover in a closed loop. This is compared with how we traditionally think of how businesses sell goods — make a product, use it and throw it out.
A circular economy is not a new concept a